The State Of Slate: Why Reopened Vermont Quarries Are Causing Concern
By JANE LINDHOLM & RIC CENGERI
Vermont is the country’s top slate producer. But re-opening and expanding old quarries has caused worry in neighboring communities.
Live call-in discussion: From a tiny area along the New York border called the Slate Valley, Vermont is the leading producer of slate in the country. And as old quarries are reopened or expanded, the rub between quarry owners and neighboring homeowners has gotten tense. We’ll take a look at today’s slate industry in Vermont.
Joining us to discuss the issues surrounding slate mining and the industry’s Act 250 exemption are:
Post your questions or comments below or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Broadcast live on Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.
November 27, 2018
Cases No. 18-0974-TF, 18-2850-TF, 18-3160-PET, 18-1633-PET
Public Comment in Response to Anonymous Letter to PUC
Vermonters for a Clean Environment submits this public comment in four cases related to Green Mountain Power’s rates and regulation plans. VCE appreciates that the PUC posted the letter and set a deadline for parties to comment by the end of business today. VCE is not a party to any of the four cases.
VCE also received the anonymous letter in the mail. If the PUC had not posted it and asked for comments from parties, it was our intention to post it as a public comment in GMP’s rate and regulation cases and offer our comments. Though the letter was sent anonymously and the author is unknown, the information it contains is worthy of public discussion. Continue reading
Vermont’s Public Utility Commission has asked for comments by Nov. 27 on the anonymous information, below, which was sent to the PUC, four media outlets, and VCE. Submit your comments as “Public Comment” in any of the following cases via ePUC:
Case No. 18-2850, 18-1633, 18-3160, 18-0974
STATE OF VERMONT PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION
REQUEST FOR RESPONSES TO PUBLIC COMMENT
On November 19, 2018, the Vermont Public Utility Commission received an anonymous public comment relating to this proceeding. The parties may respond to this public comment by no later than November 27, 2018. The Commission recognizes that it may be difficult to respond to the public comment without knowing the identity of the author.
Vt. PUC Hearing Officer Threatens Citizens’ Attorney with Removal from Hearing Room, Sept. 20, 2018
This first of three 2+ minute videos is 8 minutes into the hearing on the record on the morning of the first day of the two-day hearing. It set the tone for the rest of the day and the following day.
This exchange between the Hearing Officer and the citizens’ attorney occurred in the afternoon after lunch.
Later, the pro bono attorney representing pro se parties (Vermont citizens who participated without an attorney except for the two days of this hearing) is reprimanded by the Hearing Officer for “interrupting” the witness. The attorney had to keep interrupting because the witness was behaving like a hostile witness and wasn’t answering the questions. The Hearing Officer should have directed him to answer the questions. Instead, he reprimanded the citizen’s attorney. A while later the Hearing Officer finally directed the witness to answer the question he was asked, not the question he wished he was asked.
No Vermonter who participates at the Public Utility Commission should be exposed to this kind of treatment. The state had five attorneys in the room who never asked any questions. Aside from the Petitioner’s attorney, the only one asking questions was the attorney representing Vermont citizens who the Hearing Officer threatened to remove within the first 10 minutes of the start of the hearing.
Video of the full hearings:
Mar 18 2018
Editor’s note: This commentary is by Annette Smith, who is the executive director of Vermonters for a Clean Environment Inc. http://www.vce.org/ She is a member of the Rutland Regional Planning Commission, where she currently chairs the ad hoc energy committee. She has lived off grid in Danby for 30 years, and was named he 2016 Burlington Free Press Vermonter of the Year.
Most Vermonters accept the reality of climate change and support shifting our energy needs towards renewables. But in my conversations with Vermonters I have found that almost no one fully understands the mechanisms that have been put in place to achieve the state’s renewable energy goals. In fact, our energy policies are so complicated and convoluted that even Vermont legislators – many of whom consistently vote in favor of bills purporting to bring the state closer to a goal of 90 percent renewables by 2050 – don’t really understand them.
To help citizens and policymakers make more informed decisions, Vermonters for a Clean Environment has just released a report, Understanding Vermont’s Energy Policies. The report gives an overview of Vermont’s renewable energy policies, and provides context about our place in the regional electric grid. Continue reading
THE DAVE GRAM SHOW – MARCH 14, 2018
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 1:46:34 — 97.6MB) | Embed
In the first hour, Annette Smith executive director of Vermonters for a Clean Environment, talks about a report released by her group Monday saying Vermont has been going about the development of renewable energy in all the wrong ways. Then we hear from Austin Davis of Renewable Energy Vermont, who thinks the state is largely on the right track.